Central (fiction) - Imme Visser
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Central (fiction)

She opened the windows and climbed out onto the balcony. Her house was the one house in the street that had a balcony on this side, looking out on the street, so she looked rather like a dramatic Juliet, waiting for someone to serenade her. Only Juliet wouldn’t have her breasts out in the middle of the day, nor would she smoke half a pack of cigarettes in 10 minutes.

Dahlia sat down against the warm wall and let her dark hair fall over her phone so she could see the screen. Her boss had called a while ago, she noticed. Well, she was too late now anyway.

She lit another cigarette and scanned the houses across the street. Windows, just as light and obvious as hers, but there was no one inside. No one to stare back at her. No one on the street below her to make a fuss about or throw something at. No one to care about her bare breasts.

Dahlia hadn’t long forgotten. She tipped her cigarette and blew the ashes off. There were murmurs in the background, coming from below. Finally. She stood up and pulled on her denim shorts. Let the cigarette slip through her fingers.

“Oi!” it was a man’s voice.

Dahlia smiled and waved.

“Look before you throw a damn cig at me, will you?!” He was about a decade older than she was. His mousy hair, glasses and a plaid shirt screamed ‘normal, sensitive guy’. She decided that this was enough.

“Like that’s bothering you.”

“Well, yes it’s bothering me! You could’ve set me on fire,” the man continued. He then suddenly looked twice at Dahlia and tried to look away subtly. She’d already set him on fire.

“Why won’t you come up and I’ll make it up to you.” Her hair was too short to hide anything.

She could see the man’s face changing into a grimace and he shook his head.

“Okay lady, no thanks. Better cover yourself up,” he said.

She growled and threw her pack at him.

“Don’t act like you’re fucking better than me! Think you know what I need? Yeah you don’t!” Fucking obnoxious man with his ugly plaid shirt. What was he, like a professor or something?

Fuck him. Any military Joe would’ve come up and have fun with her. Any beautiful, rugged military man. She sighed heavily and climbed back inside. Her breasts were sweating against her skin and she ran a finger beneath them. Her skin had formed a fine red line there.

The stairs took too long and she skipped a few steps before throwing the front door open. The sun made a little raven of her, a black veil over floppy white skin. Still no one outside to capture. She reached for the pack of cigarettes but had to stumble back and lean against the doorpost. Nausea fled back from her throat to her stomach.

She shouldn’t waste this day to the troubles of her past. She was alone anyway.

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